Published: Jul 17, 2014 11:13 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 17, 2014 11:14 PM EDT

By Chelsa Messinger

Professional athletes have an average career of just 5 years.

According to Sports Illustrated, a whopping 78% of NFL players are broke just two years after retirement.

So how do athletes prepare for a life after the limelight?

 

Mike Greenwell was still at the height of his career. In 1988, he was named an MLB All-star, and won a Silver Slugger Award as an outfielder for the Boston Red Sox.

But while on long road trips, one thought always kept coming back to him.

"You throw your whole life into being an athlete," said Greenwell. "But what are you going to do after that?"

According to Baseball Reference, Greenwell made over $20 million from his baseball career alone. But no matter how big the check, he always spent wisely.

"So many of these athletes buy these multi-million dollar homes, and they forget, how am I going to pay to keep it up, how am I going to pay to stay in this neighborhood, and live this lifestyle when the game's all done?"

Greenwell continued to think on those long road trips, and finally, stumbled across his "insurance plan".

"In my early twenties, I started going to different amusement parks around the country, whatever town we would be playing in," said Greenwell. "I fell in love with going to the parks. And at 27 years old,
I decided I was coming home and building my own amusement park."

Fast forward decades later, and "Mike Greenwell's Bat-A-Ball Family Fun Park" has now been a staple in Lee County for 23 years.

"We've never been people that drove the fancy cars, or blew our money doing useless things, we tried to put our money back in the community and back into our family."

Greenwell has two sons, Bo and Garrett, both former baseball players, who are currently helping fund several new renovations to Mike Greenwell's Bat-A-Ball Family Park.